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Mixed Doubles to Be Navratilova's Finale

September 09, 2006|Lisa Dillman

NEW YORK — The ideal ending is one match away for dream-weaving Martina Navratilova.

Navratilova, who turns 50 next month, didn't even have to take the court Friday at the U.S. Open for her scheduled mixed doubles semifinal match with partner Bob Bryan against Justin Gimelstob and Meghann Shaughnessy. They earned a walkover into the final when Gimelstob pulled out because of a bad back.

In today's final, they will play the team of Martin Damm and Kveta Peschke, who beat Paul Hanley and Nicole Pratt, 6-4, 6-1, in the semifinals. Apparently, this really will be Navratilova's final match. Although this sport is peppered with un-retirements -- including Navratilova's -- she has told tour officials that this is it.

Her first appearance at the U.S. Open came in 1973, and she lost that year, in her opening match, to Veronica Burton of Britain. After that, Navratilova went on to win 58 Grand Slam tournament titles: 18 singles, 31 doubles and nine mixed doubles.

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-- Lisa Dillman

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